On New Year’s Day, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder was inaugurated as the 48th governor of Michigan. An appropriate ceremony for the day, many declared that inauguration not only begins a new year with a new governor, but also dawns a new era for Michigan. Editorials from across the state describe a sense of hope for the future for Snyder’s ambitious goals of bipartisanship and for an end to the “business as usual” corruption in Lansing. Bill Schuette, the new attorney general for the Snyder administration, had the confidence to proclaim that it’s “morning in Michigan.” He continued to add, “There are better days ahead for Michigan.” Being a “nerd” himself, Snyder might appreciate this analog. The scene at the inauguration looked a lot like the Ewok celebration at the end of “Return of the Jedi”: the defeat of the evil Darth Granholm and a new era of freedom with Rick Skywalker.

The inauguration, the campaign and the support all remind me of another formerly-beloved politician: President Barack Obama. Whether Snyder would admit it or not, so much of his campaign was based off hope and change— a positive campaign to bring in independents and build bipartisanship— exactly like Obama. But as more and more on the left become disappointed with the president, Snyder’s supporters may want to heed this warning: Your candidate is not a Messiah, he is not a superman and he will not fix everything. He is a politician. At best, he will be a good one. At worst, he will be a bad one.

This is exactly what happened to Obama. Everyone became so enthralled during the campaign. They became enamored with the rhetoric. The left is always looking for their messianic figure, their progressive savior, and many thought they found him with Obama. But as political realities set in and some political losses occurred, supporters became low on morale and lost motivation and energy. As a strongly-committed Democrat, I still fully support Obama and intend to help him get re-elected. However, I never bought into the myth. I supported him because he was my party’s candidate and because his legislative ambitions and policies were most similar to mine. However, many supporters were not able to stick with the president when times got tough, and they realized he was, in fact, just a politician.

Snyder most likely shares the same fate. He’s in his honeymoon phase. He has done little politically, giving the public no reason to dislike him. But once he must start making difficult decisions about the future of this state, decisions that some may dislike, supporters will fall out of love and lose faith in the Snyder fairy tale. This is especially true when it comes to Snyder’s claims that he will fight corruption in Lansing. This is a wonderful campaign promise, but while he tries to accomplish his legislative goals, he may be tempted to indulge in them.

It’s not that Snyder might not be successful in passing his agenda. Even as a Democrat I recognize his intelligence and competence. But Obama isn’t a failure either. He passed health care reform — something Democrats and progressives have been trying to accomplish for more than 50 years — financial reform, ratified the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and even repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell”. But all this didn’t stop people from losing their messianic image of Obama. The same process will likely occur for Snyder. There is a reason why they stopped the Star Wars movies at the Ewok celebration, and it’s because that way you always saw Luke Skywalker, you never saw him fail. Unfortunately, Rick Snyder’s career didn’t stop at his inauguration celebration.

Will Butler is an LSA sophomore.

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